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What is workers’ compensation retaliation?

Anyone can get injured on the job, whether they work in a high-risk industry like construction or in an office. You and other California employees have the right to seek workers’ compensation after a work-related injury or illness, but your employer might not be very happy about it. In fact, some employers discourage their staff from rightfully making a workers’ comp claim or discipline them when they do. Workers’ compensation retaliation is unlawful.

Why do some employers engage in this practice, you may wonder? As FindLaw explains, employers pay for workers’ compensation insurance, and it can drive up their costs when employees make a claim. However, injured employees are entitled to medical compensation and lost wages while they recover from an injury sustained on the job. Your employer may mislead, threaten or retaliate against you in the following ways:

  • Falsely telling you that you must use your own insurance for a work-related injury and use your own paid vacation or sick days while you recover
  • Penalizing you if you are injured at work
  • Saying you will face legal action if you pursue workers’ compensation
  • Threatening to cut your pay or demote you if you make a workers’ compensation claim
  • Firing you if you file for workers’ compensation

The above actions, as well as other ways to keep you from getting workers’ compensation or worrying about your job if you do, violate your employment rights. You may continue to take action if you are wrongfully terminated for making a workers’ compensation claim. Since this topic can be complex, this information should not replace the advice of a lawyer.

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